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Old 09-23-2004, 09:25 AM   #1
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Question logarithmically??

what does logarithmically mean? i know that a logarithmic scale is a "scale on which actual distances from the origin are proportional to the logarithms of the corresponding scale numbers" -- what does this mean in terms of fT3 and fT4 readings?? like, could it mean that the number rises from the bottom of the range slowly, and eventually quite rapidly, like the numbers on the richter scale? like how an earthquake of 7 is (an order of magnitude? i dunno!) significantly worse than an earthquake of 6??

midwest, your doctor asks if you're reading your results "logarithmically" instead of arithmetically -- does anyone know what this means? b/c my fT4 is 13.8, the range is 10 to 20, and i thought my fT4 was low -- but maybe not? similarly, my last FT3 was 4.3 (range 2.6 to 5.7) -- maybe that's ok?

i had the frees done again yesterday (and have the scars to prove it -- the stupid lab tech had to poke me THREE TIMES); i had asked her to use a small needle from the git-go, she didn't, i have a great bruise inside my left elbow (and another inside my right, but the left is a true marvel) ... this is the same one who made me faint with the strength of her excavations last time (arghh!!) ...

anyhoo, i fully expect my numbers to be all over the place this time -- been feeling hypER since the end of august and don't know what's going on except that I FEEL LOUSY!!, but just wondered if anyone knew what that means ... like, could it mean that the number rises from the bottom of the range slowly, and eventually quite rapidly, like the numbers on the richter scale? like how an earthquake of 7 is (an order of magnitude? i dunno!) significantly worse than an earthquake of 6??

and as opposed to logorrhoea of course, which my dictionary of hard words says is "excessive or incoherent talking" (which this post may be -- incoherent that is )

shall post my numbers when i get them, but meanwhile, is anyone familiar with this concept and able to explain it to me???


jb
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Old 09-23-2004, 10:06 AM   #2
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Re: logarithmically??

I can't really help, jb - we've already seen how unreliable my math skills can be

I do know that what the doc was refering to was most likely Natural Logarithms and that they are used often in medicine to help better present data - especially if it's very skewed (heavy on one end). Natural Logs are used in natural processes because they tend to show changes that are either exponentially decaying (radioactive decay for instance) or exponentially increasing (population growth for example). This might help; it's from a textbook:

Why do we use logarithms, anyway?
  • To model many natural processes, particularly in living systems. We perceive loudness of sound as the logarithm of the actual sound intensity, and dB (decibels) are a logarithmic scale. We also perceive brightness of light as the logarithm of the actual light energy, and star magnitudes are measured on a logarithmic scale.
  • To measure the pH or acidity of a chemical solution. The pH is the negative logarithm of the concentration of free hydrogen ions.
  • To measure earthquake intensity on the Richter scale.
  • To analyze exponential processes. Because the log function is the inverse of the exponential function, we often analyze an exponential curve by means of logarithms. Plotting a set of measured points on "log-log" or "semi-log" paper can reveal such relationships easily. Applications include cooling of a dead body, growth of bacteria, and decay of a radioactive isotopes. The spread of an epidemic in a population often follows a modified logarithmic curve called a "logistic"


Maybe Mids doc learned a big word that day and wanted to show off

Jb, hope you heal quickly - do you go to the lab out in the west end (bells corners). My neighbour has a real problem having tests done (they have to use the butterfly needles she's so bad) and she swears by the clinic near the Barhaven Beer Store (no laughing!).

Nat
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Old 09-23-2004, 10:35 AM   #3
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Re: logarithmically??

"Logarithm" ... See? I didn't even spell the word right, much less know what it means.

Hey, Nat... Don't go knocking my doc, or I might have to come over there and defend his honor... In his defense, he tried to explain it to me, but the highest math I took was HS sophomore plane geometry. You could've heard the audible swoosh as it flew over my head. So... I trust him. He hasn't done me wrong yet.

JB, when you saw she didn't have a butterfly in her hand, why didn't you just refuse to give her your arm until she did? You don't strike me as a person at all short of assertiveness.... LOL
Since all this thyroid biz has come about, my veins are getting more scarred each time, thus it's harder to get a flow started without a butterfly needle. One time she had to resort to using the vein in the top of my hand; that actually wasn't bad at all.

 
Old 09-23-2004, 11:12 AM   #4
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Re: logarithmically??

Okay, You are bursting my brain. This math stuff is way way over my head!
I know what you mean about scarring. My left arm is the blood drawing arm. It has little poke marks that I am afraid someone might think I am an addict. I can't use my right arm because the vein is very small and if they try, I end up with major bruising and they end up drawing from the left side.

 
Old 09-23-2004, 11:23 AM   #5
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Re: logarithmically??

According to several sources, TSH rises logarithmically, so in that respect, your doctor is right. What that means is that as TSH goes higher, it is less significant that it is astronomically high.

It is similar to the analogy you used comparing it to the Richter scale, BUT scientists have simplified the Richter scale for us. They devised this scale simply so that it is easier to read. Lets say an earthquake that measures a 5 on the Richter scale shakes the ground with a force of 10 imaginary units. One that measured a 6 would shake the ground with a force of 100 units and one with a 4 would shake the ground with only a force of 1 unit. Each number on the scale is greater or smaller than the one next to it by a factor of 10 in my example.

As the TSH goes higher, it becomes less and less important what the number is and more important that it is simply high. Like on the Richter scale, A TSH of 10 (5 on the richter scale) is really only one order of magnitude less than a TSH of 100 (6 on the Richter scale).

However, this ONLY applies to TSH. T3 and T4 levels (both free and total) do not rise and fall logarithmically, from what I have read.
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Last edited by Meep; 09-23-2004 at 11:26 AM.

 
Old 09-23-2004, 04:02 PM   #6
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Re: logarithmically??

Meep! Glad you stepped in here with your usual good information.

My doc was specifically talking about the Free Ts... in response to my suggestion that some experts [I didn't mention you by name... lol...] recommend that the FTs be in the upper part of the range.... where my aren't yet. That's when he asked about how I figured it... logarithims and arithmetic etc.
Well, in all honesty, I do feel pretty much my old self except for upper body muscle aches, so I let it drop. But if you feel it's worth broaching the subject at my next visit, I certainly will. I'd do almost anything to rid myself of this neck and shoulder stiffness.

 
Old 09-23-2004, 05:28 PM   #7
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Re: logarithmically??

I liek my T3 and T4 at about 70% of the range. Thats where I personally feel the best. Other people may have other levesl that are right, but I feel that 70%is a good place to start.

And like I said, T3 and T4 are not on a logarithmic scale, only TSH. Your doc missed school on that day, but we all miss one, now and then.

Maybe your symptoms will dissipate over time. I still have a little bit of that now and then and a little fatigue that I Can't blame on anything else. ALmost all gone, though.
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Old 09-23-2004, 10:10 PM   #8
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Talking Re: logarithmically??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Meep
I liek my T3 and T4 at about 70% of the range. Thats where I personally feel the best. Other people may have other levesl that are right, but I feel that 70%is a good place to start.

And like I said, T3 and T4 are not on a logarithmic scale, only TSH. Your doc missed school on that day, but we all miss one, now and then.

Maybe your symptoms will dissipate over time. I still have a little bit of that now and then and a little fatigue that I Can't blame on anything else. ALmost all gone, though.
ah ... so the fact that my fT4 isn't very high just means -- that it isn't very high ... gotcha ... thanks meep, and gopherhead ...

my fT4 has been higher -- i felt better in june when my fT4 was 16 and fT3 was -- 8.6!! so i reduced my dosage (stupid), then went on neurontin (late july, and a bad thing i think it was too), now am on lamictal, but have felt awful since ~ the end of august .... now am getting straightened out again, but much too slowly ...

MW, the lab in my doctor's office has a lousy technician -- i practically offered to hand her the tube (it was right in front of her, and she needs someone else to hand it to her -- i couyld have just plucked it out of the box ) ... my regular lab has competent techs, but since my GP gave me a standing order, i decided to keep it in his lab, not realizing how completely clumsy this particular woman is ... i'll insist on someone else next time cuzz there is a better tech, but of course she was out of the building just at that moment ... my bruise is blossoming tho'!!

and i had to look up logarithmic too -- but thought it had a "y" in the middle (rhythm)!!

TTFN
jb
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